Volunteer lifeboat crew rescue two men

Ping pong on a flagship

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THE SKIPPER of a yacht had to be airlifted to hospital after being hit by a boom.

The accident happened on Saturday afternoon near the historic forts in the Eastern Solent.

Coastguards requested the help of Gosport and Fareham Inshore Rescue Service (GAFIRS) after they received a mayday distress call from the 44ft yacht.

They arrived on the scene within minutes and two lifeboat crewmen went onboard the yacht to assess and treat the skipper.

On the arrival of the coastguard helicopter the GAFIRS transferred the winchman and additional medical equipment from the helicopter onto the lifeboat and took them to the yacht.

The skipper had a spinal care collar fitted and was then placed onto a stretcher before being winched up into the helicopter to be taken to Southampton General hospital.

Earlier in the day the Gafirs helped a jetskier whose craft was sinking close to the entrance to Cowes Harbour.

The man was uninjured and was taken back to the Lee-on-the-Solent hovercraft slipway, along with his jetski.

All involved with GAFIRS are unpaid volunteers.